In my previous blog post, I presented the first of nine strategic technologies that will enable businesses to remain or become resilient in these challenging, unpredictable times. The technologies were identified by tech analyst firm Gartner in its annual trends report. In this post, I’ll take a quick look at the other eight technologies in that report.
The Internet of Behaviours (IoB), a trend I detailed in my previous post, falls under the theme of people centricity. As Gartner rightly points out, even though the pandemic has changed how people work and interact with organisations, people are still at the centre of all business. And to function in today’s environment, they require digitalised processes.
Another technology trend that falls under the theme of people centricity is total experience. Its goal is to improve the overall business experience, combining multiexperience (one of last year’s technology trends), customer experience, employee experience and user experience. According to Garner, total experience has the potential to create sustainable competitive advantage by differentiating your business from that of your competitors in a way that is difficult to replicate. This does require, however, that you manage to tightly link all of the above experiences, instead of trying to individually improve each experience in a silo.
Privacy-enhancing computation is the third trend that falls under this theme. It enables organisations to share data and collaborate on research securely across regions and with competitors without sacrificing confidentiality. To that end, it combines different technologies that protect data while it’s being used.
As Gartner notes, COVID-19 has shifted where employees, customers, suppliers and organisational ecosystems physically exist. To support this new version of business, a technology shift is required. Not surprisingly then, the second theme is location independence.
The first technology trend that falls under this theme is distributed cloud. Dubbed by Gartner as the future of cloud, this new concept distributes cloud services to different physical locations, but keeps the responsibility for the operation, governance and evolution of the cloud with the public cloud provider. Since organisations aren’t managing their own private cloud, this can be costly and complex, Gartner warns. But on the plus side, it enables them to have those services physically closer. This not only helps with low-latency scenarios and reduces data costs, it also helps to accommodate laws that dictate data must remain in a specific geographical area.
Another location independent trend is anywhere operations. Summed up by Gartner as “digital first, remote first”, with digital the default at all times, this operating model allows for business to be accessed, delivered and enabled anywhere that customers, employers and business partners operate in physically remote environments. Gartner believes this model will be vital for businesses to emerge successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic.
And then there is cybersecurity mesh, which essentially allows for the security perimeter to be defined around the identity of a person or thing. This new approach to cybersecurity control is the result of perimeter protection becoming less meaningful, with many assets now existing outside of the traditional security perimeter. With its distributed architecture, cybersecurity mesh enables a more modular, responsive security approach, centralising policy orchestration and distributing policy enforcement.
As the third and final theme proposed by Gartner, resilient delivery deals with technology trends that help organisations weather all types of volatility and disruption, from a recession to a pandemic. This includes trends such as the intelligent composable business, which can adapt and fundamentally rearrange itself based on a current situation. To successfully do that, it must enable better access to information and augment that information with better insight. But most importantly, as Gartner claims, it must have the ability to respond quickly to the implications of this insight. And that ability ultimately requires an increased autonomy and democratisation across the organisation.
The penultimate tech trend in Gartner’s report, AI engineering, aims to resolve the issues that AI projects often face with maintainability, scalability and governance, making them a challenge for most organisations. Rather than treating AI as a set of specialised and isolated projects, AI engineering allows organisations to combine multiple AI techniques, Due to its governance aspect, it ultimately leads to AI accountability through responsible AI.
The final technology trend, hyperautomation, was in fact last year’s number one strategic technology trend. It is based on the idea that anything that can be automated in an organisation should be automated. You can read more about it here.
Innovation is really at the heart of what we do at Sopra Steria. It is by taking the measure of innovation that we enable our customers to go further than their competitors. That’s why we pay close attention to new technology trends as strategic as the ones presented each year by Gartner. And that’s why, very likely, you haven’t heard the last of them yet from us.